Vinnie Paul Recalls His Last Words to Dimebag Darrell Before He Was Murdered

(Image credit: Photoshot)

Vinnie Paul recalls his last words to his brother, Dimebag Darrell, before he was murdered onstage, 12 years ago yesterday, December 8, as they performed with their band, Damageplan.

“The last thing that really matters to me is the last thing we said to each other before we went on stage,” Paul said in an archival interview on

“We were warming up on the side of the stage like we always did and we were both really excited—we only had two shows left and we were gonna be going home for Christmas and to begin work on the second record.

“Our code word to let it all hang out and have a good time was ‘Van Halen,’ man! And that’s the last two words we ever said to each other. I said, ‘Van Halen’ and he said ‘Van Halen’ and we high-fived each other and went on the deck to do our thing... and a minute-and-a-half later I’ll never see him again.”

“He was really loved and he lives on, through his music and through his spirit,” Paul said. “And I’m so proud to have been a part of everything that he ever did. He’s up there with Jimi Hendrix and the Bon Scotts.”

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.